Corrigan is excellent at labeling the things in his world. His vocabulary is far larger than ever imagined and he surprises us daily with what he knows about the things that he sees. He has excellent eye-sight and can spot the handicapped symbol on any moving vehicle and yells “chair!” (several of his classmates are in wheelchairs) He loves “I Spy” books and his new favorite thing to “spy” are the WV (mountaineer) license plates on the front of the cars coming into our county from neighboring West Virginia.
Our home sits near a very busy intersection, so each morning as we wait for the bus to arrive, we all keep our eyes peeled for those WV plates. He will stand, hands flapping and twisting in anticipation, and when he spots one (often WAY up the road) he yells “THERE A DUBBA-YOU” and Mark and I make a big deal about it and cheer. Pretty sure this love of the letters “W” and “V” alone will make him a lifelong Mountaineers fan now.
This all is so exciting to me because it is so very similar to the game that I played with Connor when he was nearly the exact same age in 2002. It was shortly after 9/11 and when we went to “war” that people began to put magnetic support ribbons on their cars and Connor and I would stand at the road and try and be the first to spot a ribbon. Connor would be so excited when a car drove by with multiple magnetic ribbons on the car and would yell “RIBBON, RIBBON, RIBBON!” for every one that he saw.
Oh, how Connor would get so angry at me if I spotted one first. Now, I get to play a very similar game with Corrigan and it just makes me love mornings so much now. He is just so pleased with himself, and pleased that we are proud of him too. He truly thrives on our approval and validation and it encourages him. I never wanted to be a cheerleader in high school, but I sure do love being one now. If I thought pom-poms would help, I’d buy some.
While Corrigan is great at spying things and labeling his world, he has had a very difficult time with people’s names. He understands and knows what a zebra is, and call identify the word and spell it on request, but if each zebra had a name, they would all still just be zebras. For years, he never knew our names, we were all just “people” and then we started using photo albums and he eventually could label each person with their name, but he had never used them in context or conversation. Corrigan has trouble with “M’s” and “N’s” when they are in the middle of a word, so he identifies me in photos as “Monny.”
Most kids, if in need of something, would yell “Mommy!” and mommy would come running, but Corrigan would just cry until I came to help. Often, he is like a little ninja, sneaking up on me in the kitchen, waiting silently and patiently for me to realize he is there, and then once I acknowledge him, he then “uses his words” and begins with his halting request, ” I. Want. ______ .” I’ve tried to explain that if he spoke my name to get my attention, he would get what he needed faster, but he just stares at me blankly and then asks for a PopTart.
People always jokingly complain about hearing “mommy” all day long and how much it grated their nerves, and I do understand how it could, but I would do anything to hear Corrigan calling me “Mommy”-I’d buy those pom poms and maybe even a uniform too!
So last night I needed to run to the store for dog food and supplies before the storm arrived and I left while Corrigan was upstairs playing in his room. When I returned an hour later, Mark casually said, “He asked for you while you were gone.”
“He asked for me? By name?” I replied.
“Yep, he came downstairs, looked around for a bit and then said to me “Where Monny?”
“NO HE DIDN’T!!! DID HE?” I asked.
“He sure did.” he said, matter-of-factly.
Okay, so I wasn’t there, but this is the best thing I have heard in weeks, my baby boy asked for me by name. He wasn’t even perturbed when Mark told him that I went to the store, Mark said that he just went back upstairs to play.
I’ve waited 5 1/2 years for this moment. Just like I waited for so long for eye contact, or a real hug, or the words “I love you” from his little lips, this was one of those things I craved. One of those little things that I prayed for. He asked for me. I still cannot get over it.
He is doing so well lately. I could list so many things, his reading is coming along at a rapid pace and he can read almost all of his board books right now. I watched him do basic addition on his Kindle every night. He put a 25 piece puzzle together in church on Sunday(!!!) carefully turning each piece until it fit and never once getting frustrated when it didn’t. He randomly says “I Yuv You” when he first sees me in the morning (melt) and he is pre-writing up a storm! He is finally understanding how to use a fork and spoon, and last night ate applesauce at dinner without a single drop spilled! Oh, and the pride that radiates from his face as he can now nearly put his own shirt on, it is so cool. He has even started saying “I’m sorry” in appropriate situations, like when he accidentally bopped me in the mouth on the couch last night.
His sensory issues are evaporating and he now even loves stickers.
and it cracks me up because he puts them on his body upside down so that he can read the words. He will look down at the sticker, point to it, and read “Good Job!” ( he loves the praise stickers) and then look at me and say “I big brain!”
I am so thankful for these breakthroughs. I am so thankful for my kids. I am just so thankful.